The minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade announced on Thursday that the government plans to increase it economic exclusive zone from 1.9 thousand kilometre square to 2.6 thousand kilometre square.
He was speaking at a meet on the concept of the Mauritius Ocean State and was joined by geo-politician Shafiq Osman and oceanographer Vassen Kapaymootoo among others. He added that talks over extension of Mauritian territory are ongoing.
“This is a concept and it includes a political dimension which includes islands such as Seychelles and Maldives. Our marine eco-system has a huge potential and we need to tap those resources,” said Boolell.
He added that Sir Seewoosagur himself had said that ‘we do not live on an island but an island state’. There was no follow-up on this idea but it has started to take form he said.
Boolell hoped to use article 16 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to achieve the concept as Mauritius would seek possession of the Mascarene Plateau. He added the government has already requested USA.
He added that the government had talks with Rodrigues on the matter of extension in 2009 and negotiations over Chagos were ongoing. He said that the Prime Minister’s Office is working with Seychelles and Saint Brandon over the matter. He also spoke of the Land Based Oceanic project.